Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Women on Wednesday #1

Misty Board was a puller's daughter who grew up watching her father compete on the local circuit around her home in Mineral Wells, West Virginia.  Though her father would have been pleased to have a daughter who wanted to be a ballerina or pursue girl things, Brad Board had to have found an extra sense of pride in the fact that his daughters turned out to be a gearhead (Misty) and an athlete (Tiffany, Misty's Sister). The days Misty spent with her family in their red International school bus will never be forgotten.  Those days are what lead her down a path to the dream come true life she is living, better yet let’s call it a track that lead her to this life. 

As Misty turned sixteen her responsibilities for her dad's pulling team went from helping with the truck to occasionally piloting the truck.  In her debut, she drove off the track with a winning pass and greeted a teary eyed father who couldn’t have been more pleased.  The pulling schedule that the Board family followed lead them throughout West Virginia and portions of Ohio, but it was a pull in Mercer, Pennsylvania in 2004 that truly changed Misty’s world forever.   

At that very pull in 2004, she met the man that would complete her dream come true life, in the form of pulling superstar, Jordan Lustik.  Lustik of 84 Pennsylvania, had become a pulling sensation with the Lustik's Caterpillar powered Silver Bullet Unlimited Super Stock.  Misty was familiar with Jordan and his tractor from seeing him on television shows and magazines which covered the sport of pulling. 
Just like any first date should in a relationship built around power, Misty and Jordan had their first date at the NHRA event at National Trails Drag Strip in Columbus, Ohio.  They found a great rivalry as Jordan cheered on John Force and his date Gary Scelzi.  As Misty points out, Force did win that day, but it was the company she kept that had her feeling butterflies.  

In September of 2005, Misty became Mrs. Lustik and her fairytale began.  She immediately found herself involved with the day to day operations with the team, which she and Jordan began to live by a family mantra both on and off the track which is “whatever it takes, that’s what we will do." 

That approach to their life has truly made Misty a valuable asset with their business at home.  When Lauren was born, the Lustiks made the decision that Misty would not go back to work at her job in Human Resources, so that she could focus on raising Lauren and the family.  The value she brings to the daily tasks on the farm is immeasurable as Misty can be as hands on as Jordan needs her to be. Over the course of the busy farming season, Misty will operate the IH QuadTrac 530 and Kinze1000 Bushel grain cart, the header cart, the seed tender, as well as helping to keep up with the tasks around the home such as mowing.  As much as Misty loves to go pulling, she is quick to point out that if things are not efficiently run at home, it would not be possible to make all of the trips that the Grand National Circuit requires.

Since the Lustik family entered the sport of pulling, the team has had a deep driven approach to professionalism, which Misty is now the backbone of. She works hard to ensure the team uniforms are clean, as well as the immaculate hauler they travel the country in.   Additionally, she is responsible for maintaining the merchandise for the team and if you haven't seen some of the awesome shirts and apparel the team has, you need to make it a priority.  

Last summer, Misty’s chores doubled with the addition of the biggest Bullet fan, Lauren.  Having Lauren allowed her mother to showcase her ability to multi-task as Misty would often strap Lauren to her chest in the carrier in order to operate the leaf blower and cool down the heads of the Bullet before a pulloff.  Misty being able to cool the headers, allowed Jordan and Rich the opportunity to focus on the setup and any changes they may need to make for the next run.  Misty's willingness to get involved with the tractor is something that Jordan truly appreciates.

Typically, the road crew consists of Jordan, Misty, Lauren, and Jordan’s father Rich.  With their only being four of them, Misty finds herself busy throughout the weekend, but one of the most valuable facets of her duties is to film each of Jordan’s passes.  Being able to review the video from each passing event gives the Lustiks a chance to truly understand how the tractor was running and what it may have reacted to with the setup.  After the pull, Misty will take to the computer to update the wide spread following of fans that are the Bullet Nation.  She does so by maintaining the team's social media pages and working with many facets of public relations. 

As the Peterbilt is heading down the road, Misty becomes the source of knowledge for both Rich and Jordan, as they want to know results from the pulls around the country and what their current points standings look like. Misty beams up her Droid and works to inform the men of all of the goings on within the pulling world!

As Misty looks to the future, she is thrilled by the idea of her daughter growing up in the same environment that she and Jordan did.  It has become Misty’s goal not just to be a wife but to emulate the likes of other pulling wives like Rona Veney and Arlene Archer that have been a firm foundation for which to allow their husbands and children to be successful.  It is evident that in her short time as the central point of the Bullet team, she is well on her way to achieving her goal.  For the short term, her goals include finding a routine with a newly walking little girl on the road with the NTPA.

What does the future hold for Misty Lustik? One can only guess, but Misty has a strong hope that it holds a throttle and a full time ride on the second team tractor, the “Silver Bullet Reloaded."  As a fan of pulling, I personally cannot wait to watch her strap in and take the ride she has earned!  

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